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My Top 3 Social Media Analytics Tools

Social media marketing without a strategy is just guessing. Using analytics helps you see what the best content to post is for your brand as well as many other little things like best time to post, who your followers are following, and what content gets the most engagement.

I use three tools on a regular basis, well technically four if you count Facebook analytics but that might be a whole separate post in and of itself :) I’ll explain each below, but I also included a video at the bottom of this post where I go through each website with you and you can follow along on my screen.

Use these social media analytics tools to monitor your brand and create better content!


Iconosquare is a website to track your Instagram analytics. You sign in with your Instagram login and then if you’re able to see a whole bunch of data. You can find out who’s not following you, who is following you, when most of your followers are online, your most engaged photo ever, you’re most commented photo ever and much much more.When it comes to Instagram posting at the right time is key. You really are only posting anywhere from 1 to 3 times a day so you want to make sure that it’s during a time where the most people will see it.

Use iconosquare to find out when those peak times are and post around those times. Also, by seeing what your most popular content is you can see what your fans like. You might think a piece of content is amazing yet something else is what is really popular and engaging with your audience.

Lastly, I love that iconosquare gives you analytics throughout the years or months you have been an instagram user. You can see how your account has grown over time.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter has its own analytics website which is actually very detailed and helpful. I will talk about a third-party website in a second but the Twitter analytics tool works very well.With this tool you can see the history of your follower growth and again, track your content and how well it does. You can see which pieces of content gets the most engagement, the most impressions, and the most favorites and retweets. So if a certain type of tweet that you use is getting a really high percentage of engagement, then you need to keep doing that. I have found the most engaging types of Twitter content is when I share someone else’s content and tag them (such as “check out this recipe from @soandso, it looks delicious! {link}”
Usually they will retweet and therefore their followers will see it and your brand name/Twitter handle too.


Followerwonk is another Twitter analytics tool. You can use this in a way similar to iconosquare but for Twitter. You can see when the majority of your Twitter fans are online and therefore post your content around those times.

If you regularly push links to your own blog posts, or your online store, or anything promoting your brand, make sure that you are posting that stuff during these peak times. And then fill in the rest of the time throughout the day with other stuff like sharing other peoples content, images, funny memes, etc.

Followerwonk also lets you see the demographics of your Twitter followers. You can see what percentage are male versus female, or age groups, or even what country they’re from. You can also see which of your followers has the most followers themselves, so if you want to target certain types of people, you can see who your most influential followers are.

Here’s my video showing you each of these websites and how I utilize it (for some reason it is not embedding in this post).

As always, if you have any questions, just leave a comment below or tweet me @socialstormedia and I will get back to you!


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3 Ways To Improve Your Social Media & Engage More Students

As a higher education professional, I see firsthand how student affairs professionals are eager to use social media yet aren’t using it effectively. We all want to use social media to promote our events and programs, but there are different ways to do so when it comes to reaching college aged students.

While college students are “always on their phone” and on social media, they don’t necessarily want to be sold to or promoted to all the time. Think about it, when you’re on social media do you like seeing brands constantly pushing their product at you are getting you to buy their product? I don’t know about you but I find that super annoying and will tend to unfollow.

If you’re a higher education professional or education professional in general who is trying to reach a younger demographic, really put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would feel if you were seeing whatever message you are putting out there.

Instead of constantly posting about your next event and begging students to come to it try thinking of other creative ways to engage students and get them excited about your event.

Here are three ways you can do just that:

3 ways to use social media to engage students

Make It Fun

Do not, I repeat do not, just post a picture of your flyer that you’ve been plastering all over campus. That will not get much engagement or excitement for your event. Instead, take the information that you have and create a fun image for whatever social media platform you’re using.

For example, on Facebook, images and videos do really well when it comes to being seen on people’s newsfeeds. Create a branded image or a short video that will entice students and get them talking about your event. At a school I used to work with they would create a short teaser video for events such as a mud run or bed races etc. This shows students what will be happening and also entices them more than a flyer. Think about what would get you excited and create that. Even if your topic is “boring ”you can find ways to spruce it up. If your event will have free food, a raffle, or prizes of any kind definitely include that as well

Start Using Video

Video is huge right now, as I mentioned above, so it’s definitely something you should start utilizing. Whether it’s creating shorter form videos for Facebook or getting on an app like Periscope, it is something you should consider when it comes to your social media marketing.

YouTube videos do take time to create and edit however using an app like Periscope is much easier. Using Periscope you can live stream your events or give behind-the-scene views of your department. People love behind-the-scenes types of videos so keep that in mind. Check out my previous article all about periscope here.

If you want to make videos for Facebook or YouTube simply use an editing software that comes with your computer to put together videos. You don’t need Final Cut Pro or fancy equipment to do so. Many videos that you see online are filmed with just an iPhone. Create teaser videos, promo videos or interview videos of students on campus…anything that will get people talking. If there is an upcoming event at your school (not necessarily within your department) that students are talking about, then create content around that. Leverage that popular event or promotion to get people to your page as well. Other video ideas include how-to videos, behind-the-scenes videos like I mentioned above, funny videos, step-by-step videos and more. Buzzfeed’s Facebook pages do a great job of incorporating video – check this one out.

If you have students working with you then use their creativity to help you brainstorm for these types of content.

Use Students

Going along with where I just left off in the previous statement, if you don’t already have students working in your office get them there. Whether you get them as interns or work-study, whatever you need to do, hire a few students to help you out.

You may want to do it all but I assure you that having a student team will help you create better content that resonates more with college students. I know that many higher-ed professionals are worried about students having access to social media credentials and accidentally posting something but I think that the pros outweigh the cons.

Students are more responsible than you think and they know not to be posting on your social media profiles as opposed to their own. Furthermore, giving them the opportunity to help you with your marketing helps them in adding something to their resume. It helps them develop a visual portfolio that they can take the future employers.

They understand more than anyone else what students are thinking and they know of trends way before you might. I didn’t know about snapchat until my younger sister told me about it and explained it to me…and I’m not even that much older than her!

Students are the number one way that you can start creating better content. Make sure that you foster an atmosphere where they’re comfortable giving you feedback on your content or giving you new ideas. When I worked in a marketing department with students, we encouraged them to give us any idea no matter how crazy they thought it was and a lot of the times we implemented them and were very successful.

So a few takeaways from this article for you would be:

  • Hire a student or multiple students to help with your department’s social media marketing
  • Start developing video content
  • Experiment with new apps as they come out (like Periscope)
  • Create content for each social media platform and DON’T just post pictures of your printed flyers

As you start creating content, feel free to send it to me or leave your school’s/department’s social media links in the comments so I can start following you!


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How To Use Periscope For Your Brand or Business

So Periscope is the new “hottest” thing…according to a lot of people. I have used it for the past month or so and actually really love it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Periscope, it is a video app that allows you to LIVE stream. That is the main selling point. It is live and happening in the moment. Their tagline is “explore the world through someone else’s eyes.”

Your Periscope video lives for 24 hours before it is gone, so your followers are able to watch a replay within that time frame. It’s super easy to use – just open the app and start broadcasting! People will find you if they are looking on the world map (you can see who is live all over the world) and your followers also get alerts when you’re live. You can also link it to your Twitter account so once you start broadcasting, it is tweeted out from your account…something along the lines of “LIVE on Periscope: How to XYZ.” People can click on the link and watch from the web (another great selling point).

What are the benefits of Periscope over other video tools like YouTube?

  • As mentioned above, it is live broadcasting from a location.
  • No editing required like with YouTube videos.
  • You open up your app and you’re ready to go.

I was out at a restaurant/bar last week and saw their TVs advertising their Periscope account…I was really impressed! Many businesses wait to hop on the newest social media platform…get on it early and you will reap the benefits! PS – if you live in New Jersey, the place I’m talking about is Famished Frog, check them out 😉

So how can you use Periscope for your own brand?

Curious about Periscope? Here are 5 ways to start using it for your brand, business or blog!

Showcase Your Business Live

If you work in the restaurant business, hop on Periscope and show off your restaurant during lunch or dinner. Talk about your menu or any specials you’re running. If you’re a bar, show off your bartender’s drink making skills, or talk about speciality drinks only found at your location.

Do you work in education/higher education? Periscope is a great way to show your department events and programs to your students. Furthermore, if you’re in college admissions, you can use it to show certain parts of campus, talk about campus history, traditions, and much more. I’m thinking I can write a whole separate post about this for my higher ed people 😉 For those of you who don’t know me yet, I work in higher education as well, and received my Master of Education in College Student Affairs from Rutgers University…I love talking about social media and higher ed!

Talk About News Updates

Share important/exciting news about your business as well as the industry you’re in. If you’re in retail, show off your latest shipment of clothing or a style that is trending. Trends can actually be a relevant topic no matter what business you’re in.

You can also talk about big news within your field. Did something huge happen over the weekend relating to your business? Share your opinion and see what others have to say about it. PS – you can invite people to ask questions live which is a cool feature as well. Don’t be afraid to ask people if they have any questions or thoughts while you’re talking.

Share Something Cool

This can kind of relate to showing off your business live, but think of something out of the ordinary to show your followers. Perhaps you can create a recipe live or experiment with something. You could interview someone related to your business or blog. How cool would it be to interview a professional athlete LIVE if you’re a fitness blogger? Start thinking big and outside of the box in order to create content people want to see and interact with.

Show Off Where You Are

You don’t have to just be filming at your specific business location. If you’re heading to a networking event or conference, hop on Periscope to show off the scene to your followers. Even if you’re not at some huge event, you can think up ways to connect with people outside of just filming within your business. Maybe start up a weekly Q&A session while you’re taking a walk outside or weekly/monthly series where you review products relate to your niche. Whatever it is, do NOT Periscope while driving. Come on, let’s be safe people.

Just Talk

Some of the best “scopes” I’ve seen are people just giving tips or insight and talking straight at the camera. Yes, it sounds kind of boring, but if you’re giving away valuable content, people will listen. Make sure to come up with catchy titles to bring people in. Some topic ideas could be:

  • How To XYZ
  • 7 (or any number) Ways To XYZ
  • 3 (or any number) Things You Should NEVER Do While XYZ
  • Top # Things To Wear This Fall (or any variation of that)
  • 5 Ways To Accomplish X Within The Next 24 Hours (or whatever timeframe is realistic for your niche)

You can save all of your scopes by turning on autosave in your settings. That way, you can share on your other social media platforms as well, which is perfect for those who might miss your 24 hour replay timeframe.

Let me know if you’re on Periscope so I can give you a follow!

Have you used Periscope yet? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent?


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How To Get More Instagram Followers

Everyone wants more Instagram followers right? But there are ways to go about increasing your numbers. After all, you don’t want to come across as spammy or get banned.

I talked about this in a recent post on my other blog: How To Increase Your Instagram Followers in 24 hours.

How To Get More Instagram Followers (Without Being Spammy)

Basically, it’s all about engaging with other users and connecting with them in a meaningul way (as opposed to just leaving comments like “nice!” or “cool!”).

For more tips, please click the link above to read the whole article! I would copy and paste it here if I could but don’t want to get flagged by Google 😉

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or comment on the original article – either way I’ll see it and respond quickly!